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Special procedure could help spinal cord injury patients

One of the biggest issues that spinal cord injury patients face is the loss of hope that they will ever be able to live life fully again. That thought is very hard for them to live with. It is also what is prompting some patients to partcipate in a study being done at 22 hospitals in the United States and Canada.

The study involves a procedure that takes bone from the back of the spinal column and implants it into a cavity make along the spinal cord. The surgical procedure removes a portion of the dura, which surrounds the spinal cord. The pocket that remains is where the implant is placed. The implant is called a neuro-spinal scaffold.

The portion of the rear of the spine that is removed is coated with lycene. This substance is thought to help improve the way that neural cells grow in the area so that reconnections might be made. So far four out of 10 participants have shown some level of improvement. This means that in those patients, the lycene-coated spinal scaffold has helped the spinal cord to heal.

The success rate of this study might not seem like it is so promising, but for the patients who have been able to claim some improvement, the study is life-changing. This procedure could one day be the ray of hope that other spinal cord injury patients can enjoy. For those patients, ensuring they can afford the procedure and other necessary care is likely going to be a top priority. Those patients might benefit from seeking compensation for their injury in a civil court.

Source: WITN, "Medical study at Vidant offers hope for those with spinal cord injuries," Dave Jordan and Ariel Plasencia, Aug. 10, 2016

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